Thursday, January 19, 2012

Divine Appointments

It is truly incredible how God brings people together for his purposes. Divine appointments have consistently surfaced throughout our lives, but they never cease to amaze us. Today, we were at Baylor to have lunch with a friend who is from Beijing. In fact, she just returned a couple of weeks ago from visiting her family in China. She shared how she was privileged to lead 64 people to Christ in 14 days – 64 divine appointments with taxi cab drivers, family members, store clerks and fellow passengers on the plane. God is so good!
While still at lunch, we randomly (or not so randomly) encountered some friends we haven’t seen in months. Also, I (Kevin) was able to visit with Dr. Gloer, my favorite professor from seminary. I hadn’t seen him since I graduated in 2006.
God has been bringing others into our lives as well. While speaking at First Baptist Crawford on January 4, we were able to meet a leader in the special education field. She has passionately worked with children affected by disabilities for over 20 years, and she wants to help us in any way she can, giving advice, creative ideas and even equipment if possible. In a few weeks from now, we are excited to meet with more special education experts, and we’ll be honored to meet with representatives from Joni and Friends, a ministry that “is dedicated to extending the love and message of Jesus Christ to people who are affected by disability around the world.”
And we believe that you who are reading this post right now are not reading by accident. In some way, you too can serve the Chinese people. Even if you aren’t fluent in the Chinese language or aren’t an expert in the field of special education, there are still important roles to be filled. After all, we are not fluent or certified either. We just care.
So whether God’s divine appointments are “planned” or “spontaneous,” they are exciting. We are honored to be a part of God’s plan; we hope you will join us.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Our Vision

We are eager to begin what God has called us to do. Our ministry in China will involve many different responsibilities, sharing Christ’s love with those in the hospital, orphanage, churches and community at large. Our primary focus is to start a school for children with disabilities. (Currently, children with disabilities have no access to education unless their families are willing to carry them up and down stairs, take them to the restroom, serve as their aides, stay with them all day ...)
Initially, we will start small with a few conversational English classes for children already connected to the nondenominational Christian humanitarian group we are joining.
Later, we will begin a formal elementary school/training center. We pray that we’ll be able staff the private school with Christian professionals (i.e., teachers, aides, a nurse and a therapist), and the building should be wheelchair friendly.
We plan to provide classes in both Chinese and English, focusing on key subjects like math, science, literature and computers.
When Molly and Hudson are old enough, they will also attend this school because it is intended to be inclusive – where kids with disabilities can learn together with kids from other countries. As the foreign kids (i.e., American or European kids) mature and develop, they can buddy up with their classmates in acts of love and service. What better way to teach our kids about the love of Jesus?
Not only will this school open doors to share the Good News with the students and their families, but also, it will allow others to come to China who otherwise couldn’t – teachers who themselves have a disability or parents who have children affected by disabilities. It is amazing for us to join God in what he is doing.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Diaper Duty

Hudson had a look of panic. “Daddy, my diaper, my diaper.” I stood there. Did Hudson really just say that? Wow, I didn’t even know he could say the word diaper much less put together a phrase like that. I was really impressed. He’s growing up. But then my proud moment turned into concern. I couldn’t remember the last time I changed him, and I knew Hudson generally doesn’t like his diaper to be changed – that is, unless things had gotten particularly unpleasant … “Oh, okay, Hudson. Sorry. But wow, good job just now.”
We weren’t exactly sure how January would look, though we knew this month would be about preparation. We’re still preparing our house to sell; we just paid for a new roof (ouch). We have long to-do lists of arrangements and China VISA requirements and last-minute doctor visits. We are meeting with people and speaking at a few churches. It is amazing how God brings us together to carry out his work. It’s exciting.
We also have been able to practice the Chinese language. Of course, this often translates into repeating phrases while building foam block castles with Molly and Hudson. But hey, just two days ago, Molly told me, “Dad, I want to speak Chinese,” and Hudson joyfully threw in “wu” (the number “five”) when Molly and I were counting, “yi, er, san, si ...”
Most importantly, though, Dayna and I have been able to devote more time these days in spiritual preparation. God is empowering us and teaching us that he is enough, that we can fully trust him as we move across the globe. And maybe just maybe … God will empower us with great perseverance as we guide Hudson from the land of diapers to the land of potty training. Now that will take much prayer, indeed! Thanks for journeying with us. ~ Kevin